Thursday, 18 April 2013

Questions (79)

Michael McGrath

Question:

79. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the current maximum outstanding liability of the State in respect of claims against the Insurance Corporation of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18167/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Deputy should note at the outset that the State no longer has any outstanding liability in respect of claims against the Insurance Corporation of Ireland. In this regard the administrator of Icarom obtained the approval of the High Court on 27 November 2012 for a portfolio transfer of all of Icarom’s insurance liabilities to another regulated entity, EIFlow, in return for a payment of circa €17 million. EIFlow is an EU-regulated company incorporated in Gibraltar and licensed by the Financial Services Commission in Gibraltar, and is controlled by the shareholders of Quest Group Holdings Limited, a company which specialises in the servicing of the run off of insurance and reinsurance portfolios.

Icarom has therefore disposed of its entire insurance business, and there are no remaining outstanding liabilities of the State in respect of claims on the Insurance Corporation of Ireland. As a consequence the administration has been terminated and the company dissolved.

It should also be noted that in completing this transaction the administrator was able to repay to the Insurance Compensation Fund a total of €88,530,782.55.

The Icarom administration was financed by loans from the State, one for IR£100 million in 1985 which was repaid on schedule in 2000, and one for IR£32 (€40.6) million in 1993, which was repaid in 2002, ten years ahead of schedule. Icarom has also benefitted from, inter alia, profits on the sale of the general insurance and life assurance businesses (€135 million), proceeds from a settlement with the Company’s former auditors (€49 million), the settlement of claims for less than their estimated cost (€46 million) and contributions from AIB under a 1992 agreement with the State (€224 million).

Finally, the Deputy should be aware that at the time Icarom was placed in Administration in March 1985, there was great concern about what the ultimate cost to the taxpayer would be. The actual outturn is significantly better than was originally envisaged with both the life assurance and the general insurance businesses continuing to operate under new ownership and approximately €88.5 million now being returned to the State. The only cost to the State is the interest foregone of €20.9m on the 1993 interest free loan of €40.6m.